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Thread: Label design and brand identity

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    11

    Label design and brand identity

    To the ProBrewer community:

    I would be interested to hear from those who have recently brought new labels to the market. Particularly anyone who has developed a brand and label/package design without the use of a top-tier design house.

    What do people feel are the biggest challenges in designing a successful label and package today? Our view is that the market is getting crowded with products that look great - but very similar to each other. My gut is that design houses are going to come up with more of the same quality ideas, but ideas that won't really help new labels establish and differentiate themselves.

    Has anyone else been working through this same issue? It would be fascinating to share views.

    If anyone recommends a label and package designer they have worked with, I would appreciate the referral.

    Thanks,
    Jim

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Walnut Creek, CA
    Posts
    12
    While I have never worked on any beer labels, I have hired design agencies to develop numerous food product labels.

    I think the most important thing to remember is a label is only one part of your overall brand identity. The best labels are the ones that communicate your message in a simple yet uncluttered environment. Beware of what has happened in the wine industry! Take a look at your local grocery store shelf wine section and you will see the clutter that too much creativity brings.

    Keep you logo large - consumer recognize visual images quicker than words.

    Avoid reverse type as well as italics or type too hard to read.

    Take a mock up on a bottle and put it on the shelf to see how it looks. Stands out? Communicates what you want it to? Then you are on your way.

    Zardoz.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    11

    thanks

    great insights. thanks.

    I am concerned about professional guys doing exactly the *opposite* in an attempt to earn their money and show their skills.

    cheers.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Polson, Montana, USA
    Posts
    1,096
    We had hired a design firm to create our labels during our startup, we ended up on their back-burner due to their workload. While the design ideas they showed us were creative, they didn't "knock our socks off" and we ended up waiting several months to hear back from them before we eventually had to fire them. After that, we designed them ourselves. We drew upon our own talents and those available to us locally and regionally (i.e. university art department, creative family members).
    I would suggest you go to your local beer store and STUDY the labels that are on the shelves. Don't copy them but try to realize what elements have made those brands successful.
    Remember, the marketing hooks 'em, the beer quality keeps 'em.
    Luck to you....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by GlacierBrewing
    We had hired a design firm to create our labels during our startup, we ended up on their back-burner due to their workload. While the design ideas they showed us were creative, they didn't "knock our socks off" and we ended up waiting several months to hear back from them before we eventually had to fire them. After that, we designed them ourselves. We drew upon our own talents and those available to us locally and regionally (i.e. university art department, creative family members).
    I would suggest you go to your local beer store and STUDY the labels that are on the shelves. Don't copy them but try to realize what elements have made those brands successful.
    Remember, the marketing hooks 'em, the beer quality keeps 'em.
    Luck to you....
    What sort of software are you using to design your labels? We are extremely interested in doing just what your doing by pooling our local artists but are having trouble determining what is our best route to put them into a professional printable form.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    10

    Randy Mosher

    Give Randy Mosher a call:

    http://www.randymosherdesign.com/

    He does a lot of branding/label design for the craft beer industry. Check out the samples; very unique and interesting but with a clean, classic design theory. Good stuff...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    East Syracuse, NY
    Posts
    300
    I used a professional design firm and spent a lot of money on them. Looking back I should have shopped around more and found someone who really understood what I wanted. Don't let yourself get talked into design your not happy with. Try and find someoone local, who knows your market.

    just my 2 cents

    Kiernan

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Polson, Montana, USA
    Posts
    1,096
    Quote Originally Posted by ZCBC
    What sort of software are you using to design your labels? We are extremely interested in doing just what your doing by pooling our local artists but are having trouble determining what is our best route to put them into a professional printable form.
    I use Photoshop almost exclusively. I do not have any "formal" training on this program or in graphic design, I just kept making different labels "for fun" to see how to do it. Photoshop is a little pricey (~$600-$800), but we use it for all our design needs: labels, t-shirts, hats, pint glasses, signage, web site graphics. If you have any level of computer skills, you can learn to use this program. It just takes time.
    Do what you can with what you have.
    Hope this helps,
    Dave

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